Ben Seewald’s Father Defends Josh Duggar: “I’m Rooting For You”
Ben Seewald’s father Michael posted an essay on his blog Monday, defending Josh Duggar, who last week admitted to sexually assaulting children, including his sisters, when he was a teen.
In a post titled “Grace Greater Than Our Sin,” Michael, who is the father-in-law of Josh’s sister Jessa Duggar, says while people shouldn’t “downplay the seriousness” of the molestation offenses, he is “rooting” for the “19 Kids And Counting” star. “I want to say to Josh, hang in there, the shame you feel is legitimate, yet Jesus took your shame as he was punished in your place,” he writes . “Rest in his forgiveness and grace. Remember that he gives you his righteousness as a covering for your shame.”
Michael reveals he was initially hesitant to make a public statement because “it pains me to see that they are now having to relive the nightmare that had been laid to rest well over a decade ago with Josh’s repentance and reformation,” but he decided to break his silence “to bring some context and reason to the bloodletting that many are engaging in and to come to the aid of our dear friends and family.”
Ben’s dad refrains from discussing the legal aspect of Duggar’s abusive actions, but “commends” his parents Jim Bob and Michelle for their handling of the situation. He writes:
“As it stands criminal charges were not brought against Josh but I believe that Josh’s parents acted in a way that godly parents should. They did not turn a blind eye, but earnestly sought help from the church, counselors, and eventually the police. Maybe they didn’t do it in a way that pleases everyone, but they acted decisively to confront the sin, to call a penitent son back from his errors, and to seek to aid the hurting victims. In the end Josh sought forgiveness from those he wronged, repented of his sins, and came to trust Christ as his Savior.”
Michael goes on to argue, “Some people act as if it was the Duggars’ responsibility to have made this sad episode in their family public knowledge. They are to be praised for not hiding this from the appropriate parties and eventually the police, but they owed it to no one else to publicize the sins of a minor child and the court agrees with that assessment, the judge now ordering that the police report be destroyed.”
He also addresses comments from critics who say Duggar committed his offenses because he was sexually repressed. Michael responds:
“They think that had he [had] access to sex education by Planned Parenthood, been allowed to watch edgy Hollywood films, been encouraged to experimentation with a girlfriend, or gotten free condoms from the local school nurse, then none of this would have happened. Right. The stupidity of some people is mind boggling. Fan the flames of youthful lust and you end up with what we have: unprecedented numbers of unwed mothers, millions of abortions, rampant STDs, and the unraveling of the fabric of our whole society. Josh didn’t sin because he was repressed, he sinned because like all of us he is a sinner.”
Michael further writes, “Here is a warning for everyone reading this, by condemning a repentant sinner you have placed yourself in the place of God.” But he also expresses concern for the violated parties, saying they “should not be lost in all of this,” and encourages victims of sexual abuse to speak up. “It is not your fault. No matter what the abuser may have said, you are not the one to blame,” writes Michael. “Do not keep silent if you are being abused, tell someone you trust, a parent, a teacher, a friend, anyone is better than silence.”
Towards the end, Ben’s father says, “I want to say that the Seewald family stands with the Duggar family in solidarity. We stand with the unnamed victims of these incidents. Our thoughts and prayers are for you.” And he tells Duggar, “Don’t be angry at the world for their hatred of you. Show them through your love for them that it is Jesus Christ that made all the difference in your life. I’m rooting for you.”
Michael Seewald isn’t the only one to come to Duggar’s defense. As Gossip Cop reported, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee posted a statement of support on Facebook Friday, saying, “Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.” Duggar’s parents also released a statement last week saying they were “shocked” by Josh’s “very bad mistakes,” but claimed God had forgiven his sins.
Meanwhile, Ben Seewald and Jessa Duggar are expecting their first child, which Gossip Cop reported last month. What do you think of his father’s comments on Josh Dugar’s sexual assaults?